Top 8 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2015
We recently attended eMarketer’s webinar on the top eight social trends to watch for in 2015, and came out with some great insights. Here are our key takeaways from the webinar, along with our two cents!
Increased Social Media Spending
Marketers currently dedicate approximately 10% of their marketing budget to social media. In 2015, we expect this number to increase. However, don’t expect results to improve simply by increasing your budget. Next year, it will be necessary to hone in on your targeting and content strategy.
Social media is not a mass medium; therefore, marketers need to get serious about targeting. The more precise the targeting, the more successful and effective the results. With ample targeting options on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, such as lookalike audiences, interests and keyword targeting, and job title targeting, advertisers have the necessary tools to ensure that their messages are reaching the right audience.
Our advice? Create multiple campaigns featuring the same creative that target different audiences and test to see which campaign(s) perform best. You may uncover new relevant audiences that you hadn't previously considered.
Organizations Will Move Social Out of a Silo
While 69% of marketers agree that integrating social media with the broader marketing team is a priority, only 17.5% have actually done so.
In order for social media marketing to be as effective as possible, communication between social and the rest of the marketing team must be streamlined. Marketers will become smarter about allocating resources and investments next year, and integrated campaigns will see the most impressive results. While increased collaboration will be vital, it will also be just as important to give social leaders the authority to make decisions, especially when it comes to budget.
Our take? While we agree integrating social across the marketing team (as well as the entire organization) significantly boosts success, this continues to be a major challenge for brands, and one that won't quickly disappear. It will be important to gain C-level buy in and support in order to finally bring social out of its silo.
Less is More When it Comes to Content
With constantly changing algorithms, frequency of messaging is increasing in hopes of higher reach; however, the pace of growth in marketing content on Facebook is slowing, with 146% growth from 2011-2012 and only a 31% increase from 2012-2013. Additionally, organic social posts are yielding miniscule interaction across all platforms, except Instagram. So, how can you improve your content next year?
Start with investing in social listening to understand what your audience is already saying, and align your future content accordingly. Tailor content to your audience by segmenting and implementing precise targeting. But, remember to create a natural and native social presence. In other words, act normal.
BKV recommends not only leveraging social listening to inform your social content, but apply these learnings across all of your marketing efforts.
The Key to ROI Will Come from Within
While 80% of social marketers measure the success of social content, only 50% measure social ROI, and 39% of marketers consider their social media measurement capability to be "poor."
Next year, raise the sophistication level of social measurement by understanding your objectives, applying them to social strategies and developing KPIs accordingly. Be sure to include multiple stakeholders in the discussion. Collaborate with them to determine which behaviors and activities are most important. Keep in mind that it will still be important to value earned impressions. Otherwise, there will be an overweighting in paid media.
Our advice? Create a comprehensive measurement plan that outlines all of your social goals and maps specific KPI's to each goal. Then determine what analytics tools and processes are needed to measure each of your KPI's. Implement a measurement plan that allows for ongoing reporting in order to evaluate success.
Marketers Will Start Putting Mobile First
It is estimated that 80% of users will use a mobile phone to access social networks this year, and 30% of Facebook users access the platform on mobile-only; therefore, it’s time to consider the mobile experience first. This transition to mobile marketing will make it easier to edit content, as it is much simpler to grow content designed for mobile than shrink content originally designed for desktop.
Catering content for mobile also means making messages more concise. Mobile provides much smaller real estate, making text appear differently, so be sure to capture users in the first sentence. We recommend including a call-to-action earlier in the message rather than at the end, as links in long posts will be hidden.
Video Will Play a Large Role in Social Strategy
Although video sharing and effectiveness on social media is still new, it is rapidly growing. Facebook is already challenging YouTube as a hub for viewing and uploading videos by allowing users to upload directly to the social network instead of sharing a YouTube link. In addition to Facebook, Vine has also continued to gain popularity among Twitter users.
When leveraging videos as part of your social strategy in 2015, keep the platform and audience in mind instead of simply repurposing video from other media such as television. As with other forms of social content, keep it short and concise. Additionally, make your social videos authentic – they don’t need to be over-produced.
Since video production is expensive, consider leveraging creative influencers and your partners to create content. Crowdsourcing content from creative communities such as Zooppa and Poptent is typically more cost-effective than creating video in-house.
Real-Time Marketing Will Become "Right-Time" Marketing
Start thinking right-time, not real-time. Everyone’s still talking about Oreo’s Super Bowl stunt, but don’t think you need to join every popular, mainstream conversation. Instead, focus on the moments that may be less mainstream but more aligned with your target audience and marketing objectives. Personalizing your response to each user at the right moment can make "right-time" feel real-time.
Facebook First Strategy Won't Always Be Right
Younger audiences aren’t just on Facebook anymore. Instead, they are spending time across multiple social platforms, including more private communities like Snapchat. In order to reach them effectively, you must create a presence on the platforms where they are. But when venturing into these platforms, make sure you’re being invited into the conversation. Also, make sure your content is customized for each platform and avoid repurposing content.
The social space is rapidly changing, and we don’t expect things to slow down any time soon. Don’t be caught off guard - prepare for the changes to come in 2015 to maximize your social efforts.